One of the oldest, common rumors about notarial procedures is that a notary must never notarize a blank document.
Although the contents of a signer’s document are irrelevant to a notarization, the statutes of a few states specify that a notary may not sign their name and affix their seal on a blank document. A significant number of people believe that this means it is unlawful for the notary to notarize a signature on a document that is blank Others argue that because a document’s contents are irrelevant to the notarization, the above referenced prohibition probably refers to the notarial certificate and not to the signer’s document. It is indeed unlawful for a notary to sign and seal a blank notarial certificate.
Notarizations are performed merely to ensure that the signer was not an imposter and forger, and that he/she signed under his own free will and intent. When a document is signed before it is completed, which is a common business practice in many segments of commerce and trade, the signer assumes a considerable risk. The signer is trusting that the document blanks will be filled in later with truthful and correct information. If those whom he trusts are scoundrels, he becomes the victim of fraud. Now he has a heavy burden of proof to show the document he signed contains falsehoods that he did not assent to when signing prematurely.
The issue concerning the appropriateness of notarizing signatures to blank documents has several valid perspectives. It is an issue far from definitive resolution.
WARD COUNTY NOTARY SERVICES
ROBERT L. TIMM, OWNER
201 Main Street South, Suite 116
Minot North Dakota 58701
Call or text 701-720-8513